President Kenyatta’s nominee for the position of Kenyan ambassador to Japan Tabu Irina has disclosed why she renounced her Canadian citizenship.
Ambassador Irina, who was born in Canada in 1968, said she relinquished her Canadian citizenship in 2018 after realizing it was of no help to her.
She said this on Friday when she appeared before the National Assembly Defense and Foreign Relations Committee for vetting.
Members of the committee put her to the task to explain why she decided to give up her Canadian nationality after holding it for more than 50 years.
MPs sought to know why Irina, who has been working as the head of Protocol Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a public office while she was still a dual citizen of Kenya and Canada.
“The Constitution is clear you cannot hold public office when you have dual citizenship. You have been holding office for years when you know that you have dual citizenship. How do you explain that? What made you renounce Canadian citizenship?” Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo asked.
In response, Irina said she has never enjoyed any benefit of being a Canadian citizen since she was born, which informed her decision to surrender it.
“As far as I am concerned, I was not a citizen of Canada. I was not paying taxes there; it was just that I was born there. I have never benefitted anything from that country. I was made aware when applying for a Visa. I then applied for renunciation in 2018,” She said.
“I renounced it because it was not adding value to me. I had no reason holding that citizenship.”
Last year, the committee ordered Kenyan-American Mwende Mwinzi, who was nominated as the Kenyan ambassador to South Korea, to renounce her US citizenship, forcing her to seek legal redress.